Dogs and Cats Online Refund Policy


Dogs and Cats Online is an IT system that manages dog registration databases, on behalf of each of the 68 SA councils. Your starting point for any enquiries, disputes or refunds is with your local council.

Dogs and Cats Online will ask for:

  • your contact details; and
  • information about the status of your dog or cat (eg is it microchipped and/or desexed).

Dogs and Cats Online will then apply the correct registration fee and discounts applying in your council area.

If you believe that you were charged an incorrect fee, you should contact your local council.

If your Dogs is permanently lost or dies

If your dog has been permanently lost or it dies, a minority of councils have made a formal decision to offer a refund for the remaining period of the dog registration year (which runs from 1 July to 30 June of the following year).

Most councils do not have a formal policy on dog registration refunds. Some councils will consider offering a refund on compassionate grounds, in exceptional circumstances.

Contact your local council if your wish to enquire about a refund on compassionate grounds. When contacting your council, you should have the following ready:

  • Your name and address;
  • The microchip number of the dog or cat;
  • Other identifying features of the dog/cat (eg breed, colour, age); and
  • Your reasons for seeking a refund, ideally with supporting evidence (see below).

Breeder Registration

If you have paid a fee for breeder registration and you believe that you are entitled to a refund, you should write to the Dog and Cat Management Board at GPO Box 1047, Adelaide 5001, setting out your reasons for seeking a refund.

Note that this applies to registration of breeders. It does not apply to those people who have registered their dogs as a breeding or kennel business. For refunds relating to registration of dogs, please contact your council.


You will improve your chances of successfully obtaining a refund if you can present any relevant evidence. This may include receipts, dog registration discs or letters from your council. If your dog has passed away and your council grants a refund in these circumstances, evidence (eg a certificate from your Vet) will speed up the process.

Note that most councils do not provide a refund if a dog dies during the registration year.

Maximum Refund

Since the commencement of the ‘Dogs and Cats Online’, the Dog and Cat Management Board collects all dog registration fees (including those fees initially collected by councils). Under State law, the Board retains 24% of dog registration fees and these funds are not available to councils. In rural areas, this percentage is 12%.

Once collected, the Board remit 76% (88% in rural areas) of dog registration fees to the relevant Council. As a result, the maximum amount refundable will be 76% of the fee paid as the statutory contribution is non-refundable.

Council also incur costs in administering the dog registration process and considering applications for refunds.

These costs are likely to impact on your ability to obtain a full refund.

It is possible that, if a council does offer refunds, it may not refund the full amount of the registration fee paid. These are matters for council to determine, based upon their policies and financial requirements.